Retired police officer Potter’s novel centres on very disparate characters and through the tried and tested means of gradually introducing each one, builds a sense of anticipation about what is going to happen to them. This often used methodology is not easy to do well but is superbly handled by Potter who knows how to give enough detail to bring the characters to life, yet not too much so as to slow down the pace of the developing story. A climactic event affects the main characters and it is at this point Potter’s deep knowledge of people and police procedures really hits home; page by page we read how a seemingly simple, though terrible occurrence, can have huge consequences. To Potter’s credit the story does not have a completely conclusive or simplistic ending. Instead it leaves the reader thinking about how the events of a single minute can affect lives forever. I would whole heartedly recommend this book not as a crime novel or even as a novel about crime but as a beautiful and positive affirmation about what it is to be human and how ultimately it is relationships which matter more than events.
Sean McArdle, Winchester, England
Taking Back the Bullet is an emotional, yet captivating novel. Jim Potter does a superb job of intertwining each character and putting their individual identities on display. All law enforcement storylines are a true reflection of Potter’s years as a police officer because they are realistic and relatable. This is a book I highly recommend.
Rebecca from Proud Police Wife
Three main characters walk different paths but with the same destination – each coping with his or her self-discovery, self-identity, and self-realization. Much like their earlier counterparts – Huck Finn and Holden Caulfield – their journeys are often joyous, often tedious and often tragic.
Wynona Winn, PhD, retired school superintendent
Jim Potter is a cop, retired, but he brings deep understanding of this job to his novel Taking Back the Bullet: Trajectories of Self-Discovery. This layered novel has literary dimensions as characters explore crisis situations. Congratulations to this fine writer for his debut novel.
Denise Low, author of Jackalope (Red Mountain Press)
Jim Potter displays ethnographic skills in Taking Back the Bullet: Trajectories of Self-Discovery, creating vivid scenes and fascinating characters. The Greeks had a word for subcultures and people’s behavior: ‘ethos,’ or ‘ways of being.’ In colorful, sometimes marvelous detail, this novel captures various people and settings . . . the ethos of rural Kansas: a jail, art fair, powwow, rehab center, courtroom, albinos, and even someone in the throes of postpartum depression. So detailed are the descriptions that they must be drawn from the author’s personal experience. Besides the artfully created characters such as the struggling jailer and husband Tom Jennings, local artist Jesse Thomas, and Native American Joe Morningcloud, there is a tight story line that grabs your attention and won’t let go. Human tensions, love, conflict, joys and sorrows are all there. Magically, all the many pieces come together in a final crescendo, giving hope that even when we find ourselves in big trouble we can survive. This is a novel I highly recommend!
Larry Kruckman, Anthropologist